(MOBILE, Ala.) What ends up on most Christmas wish lists are things that we want, and not always things that we really need.
Furthermore, it is rare that basic family necessities, like a pillow for your head, ever make that list. However, when those necessities become gifts to those in need, it is the stuff that's makes the holiday season a little brighter.
Better Homes and Gardens Realty was able to do just that for the Mobile women's shelter, Penelope House, by delivering a truckload of household items to them.
Penelope House Shelter Supervisor Melanie Bankhead said selling second-hand toys, clothing and shoes is mainly how Penelope House pays its bills.
"The money that we have here from the closet helps our funding in terms of being able to stay open, and do the things that we need to do to take care of the clients and their children," Bankhead said.
Mobile wives and mothers have taken shelter with them from abusive homes for more than 30 years, said Bankhead.
"They're coming because their life and their children's lives are in danger," Bankhead said. The most important thing for me is to be able to say that they've had a good night sleep, a good night's rest, they haven't had to worry about someone threatening them."
To do that, Bankhead said, they need readily available supplies.
"Paper towels, diapers for children," Bankhead said. "It will be there for them, and the client can be able to do whatever they need to do right away."
Better Homes & Gardens Realty COO Joshua Tanner said his company wanted to come through for their friends by the bus load.
"We understand that they always have their shopping list of needs that are the forgotten items, if you will, the necessities that people tend to overlook," Tanner said. "We live and interact in the same community with our clients and customers. It feels so much better to give than it does receive. For people who haven't been able to experience that, the opportunity to give, it's priceless that feeling to give back."
Melanie Bankhead said the supplies will make things more comfortable in what could be a turbulent holiday season for some Mobile women.
"If I need for someone to have a pillow, I can give it to them now. There's a pillow there," Melanie Bankhead said. "To have an air mattress to put down for them to sleep on is vital for us to be able to have a place for them that evening."
In the spirit of the Christmas season, Local 15 News and its supporters started a new holiday tradition called "Making Spirits Bright". Each weeknight through Christmas, Local 15 News is teaming up with a local agency in need and a sponsor that really cares.